Three Twins pitchers went to the mound in the eighth inning Tuesday, but only two threw pitches. And one of those pitches caused the Twins to lose their lead.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went to remove starter P.J. Walters with one out in the eighth. He signaled with his left arm but second base umpire Bruce Dreckman relayed the signal to the bullpen that a righthander was needed. Casey Fien came in to pitch, but had to return when Gardenhire pointed out that he wanted lefthander Brian Duensing.
It was an odd scene. Then Duensing gave up a RBI single that tied the score at 2-2.
But Justin Morneau stepped up in the eighth with a RBI single, enabling the Twins to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Phillies in front of an announced crowd of 30,104.
Clutch hits were virtually non-existent during the Twins’ recently completed six-game road trip during which they batted .119 with runners in scoring position. So Morneau’s line single to center, which scored Jamey Carroll with the winning run, couldn’t have come at a better time.
Glen Perkins pitched the ninth to earn his 14th save.
‘‘Watching TV, we saw the numbers scroll across the screen, our numbers with runners in scoring position,’’ Morneau said.
‘‘To get a big hit there and come through in a situation, it is good for the team good for everybody and hopefully it gets us rolling.’’
It helped Duensing let his hanging slider to Ryan Howard in the eighth — that drove in the tying run — roll off him much easier.
First, Duensing had to get into the game. The only reason the Twins were able to return Fien to the bullpen and bring in Duensing after the miscommunication was because home plate umpire Paul Emmel saw Gardenhire’s signal and heard him say. ‘‘Lefty,’’ twice.
Why did Dreckman signal for a righthander in the first place?
‘‘He thought it was a better move, maybe?’’ Gardenhire said.
Duensing said he tried to keep his composure as he finally was allowed to enter the game.
‘‘When I passed Casey when he was coming back in, he just looks at me and goes, ‘Is this real life?’ ’’ Duensing said. ‘‘It’s kind of hard to keep a straight face when that happens.’’
Duensing struck out Jimmy Rollins, but Howard got him with the RBI single to right. Domonic Brown grounded out to end the inning. Duensing covered his mouth with his glove and yelled into it as he walked off the field.
‘‘My job is to come in and get lefties out, and I didn’t do my job,’’ Duensing said.
Duensing was trying to hold the score at 2-1. The Twins took the lead in the fourth as consecutive doubles by Josh Willingham, Morneau and Oswaldo Arcia scored two runs.
|Minnesota||26||4th Qtr 0:04|
|Miami||34||4th Qtr 0:01|
|Cleveland||26||4th Qtr 1:29|
|Tennessee||13||1st Qtr 7:01|
|St. Louis||3:25 PM|
|NY Giants||3:25 PM|
|Dallas||12/9/13 7:40 PM|
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|San Jose||5:00 PM|
|SW Oklahoma St||55||FINAL|
|Illinois||59||2nd Half 12:28|
|Washington||33||2nd Half 12:54|
|San Diego St||39|
|Maryland||22||1st Half 5:00|
|Ark-Pine Bluff||4:00 PM|
|TX-Permian Basin||4:30 PM|
|Jacksonville St||5:00 PM|
|Boston College||6:00 PM|
|Seton Hall||7:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||7:30 PM|
|(13) Oklahoma State||24|
|(16) Arizona State||14|
|(1) Florida State||45|
|(7) Ohio State||24||FINAL|
|(4) Michigan State||34|
|(21) Fresno State||24|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|(10) Penn State||77||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||82||FINAL|
|(12) South Carolina||76||FINAL|
|Colorado State||52||2nd Half 15:53|
|Bradley||35||2nd Half 11:36|
|Evansville||62||2nd Half 11:25|
|Houston||30||2nd Half 12:15|
|Cal State Fullerton||39||2nd Half 9:00|
|(20) Iowa State||54|
|TX-Pan American||39||2nd Half 13:43|
|Stephen F Austin||55||2nd Half 15:02|
|North Dakota||37||2nd Half 12:13|
|Utah State||44||2nd Half 16:03|
|Morgan State||5||1st Half 14:14|
|(2) Duke||18||1st Half 10:23|
|Long Beach St||3:25 PM|
|Loyola-New Orleans||4:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||4:00 PM|
|Boise State||4:00 PM|